Early Critical Editions


Schenkl's Text

Schenkl 1894 vs 1916sedition

Oldfather (Loeb)

20th century scholarship

Boter's Text

Table of Editions

A Brief Overview of the Greek Textual-Critical History of the Enchiridion

The Enchiridion GreekStudy group is reading the Greek text as presented on Perseus. It is the text from the 1916 Epictetus Dissertationiones Ab Arriani Digestae by Henricus Schenkl (Heinrich Schenkl). The text of Schenkl is not only Greek text available, nor the most recent. Two other Greek texts are available in print: one by W. A. Oldfather (Loeb:1928) and the recent edition by Gerhard Boter (Brill:1999, 2007).

Most students of Greek will probably not want to deal with textual variants. However, the variants are often the result of people trying to understand 'hard-to-read' texts. They can be of great use in increasing your knowledge of Greek grammar and vocabulary. Many emendations and variants are simplifications or clarifications of the Greek text. The variants provide a further understanding into the meaning of the text.

A note: The Christianizing versions of the editions varied in how they dealt with the Greek. Nilus' version merely changes names and a few other words/word forms: 'gods' to 'God', 'Socrates' to 'Paul'. The Christianizing version designated as Par (=paraphrase) is a totally reworking of the Greek text. Textual changes in Par are more doctrinal in nature; Par's major alterations of the text will not help you understand the meaning of the original Greek text.

Both Oldfather and Schenkl reprint Schweighauser's 1798 Greek text (with a few alterations). Dr. Boter, who has created the first new critical edition of the Enchiridion since 1798, has the following to say about the scholarship on the text of the Enchiridion. Boter tries to put a few things in perspective (most of the comments below are taken from his book.)

Earlier Critical Texts (1529, 1554, 1560)

The first edition of the complete Greek text of the Encheiridion was published in 1529 (in the editio princeps of Simplicius' commentary), but the text of the Encheiridion was abbreviated there. Since then, there have been numerous editions of the Greek text, often being edited or amended by the the consultation of various manuscripts the editor had available. The earlier texts gradually became corrupted by emendations and contamination. The different editions in print often used the Greek text from various manuscripts. The editions by Schegk (1554) and Wolf (1560) provided the standard for the vulgate of the Enchiridion until Schweighauser's edition maior of 1798 (source - Boter p. 71)

Schweighauser (1798)

"There has not been a new critical text of the Enchiridion since 1798. The text of Schenkl is really the text of the 1798 Editio Maior by Johann Schweighauser. Schweighauser's editio maior (published in 1798; Oldfather nr. 294) marks an enormous progress on all previous editions; in fact, it can be regarded as the only critical edition of the Enchiridion hitherto published.... Schweighauser’s critical notes are very extensive ...these notes show Schweighauser’s deep insight into every aspect of Epictetus’ text, and they are an inexhaustible source of lucid and pertinent remarks. In fact, the very excellence of Schweighauser’s edition has been one of the factors deterring later scholars from embarking on the enterprise of a new critical edition, his text being the basis of all the later editions." (Boter pp. 83). Schweighauser's work was reprinted in 1977. The 1977 edition of the Enchiridion (reprint by Georg Olms) is in volume 2 (of 3) of the reprint; the original 1798 Enchiridion was in volume III of V.

Schenkl (18941, 19162)

The Greek text Schenkl uses has a long history, and he presents it as his own --as a new critical edition from an investigation of the manuscripts.... H. Schenkl, in his Teubner edition of Epictetus (1894, 1916 2nd edition; Oldfather nrs. 22-25) , contented himself with printing Schweighauser’s text of the Enchiridion (pp. 5*-38*) but he does give a new critical apparatus, which is predictably based on Schweighauser’s notes.... Schenkl’s use of the indirect tradition is fuller than Schweighäuser’s.

A major advantage of Schenkl’s edition is the apparatus of parallel passages in the Dissertations, even if this report is not quite complete (for instance,Schenkl does not note that Enchiridion 26,7-8 is based on Diss. I 4,23). But the overall impression is that Schenkl just did not feel like preparing a new edition of the Enchiridion, because it would involve the investigation of too many manuscripts. His edition of the Enchiridion shows too many traces of being a rush job, and does not meet the high standards of his other work on the text of Epictetus <meaning the Discourses>. Unfortunately, the editions after Schenkl repeat Schenkl’s errors (with the exception of all too obvious printing errors). (Boter p. 84).

Note: Boter has improved and corrected the cross-references; they are included as the third critical apparatus section in his Greek text.

How does the Schenkl 1894 edition compare to the 1916 edition?

From a brief comparison of the two texts (by Louis Sorenson), the two editions are significantly different in some regards; but the same Greek text of both editions is identical.

The 1894 edition has an introduction of 122 pages; the 1916 edition has 95 pages of introductory material. The Discourses of the 1894 edition take up 400 pages; the 1916 edition 454 pages. (This is despite the fact that the pagination is different. The 1916 2nd edition has more characters of Greek per line. So the difference must be attributed to the textual apparatus which is significantly larger in the later edition.)

The order of chapters and indexes is different. The 1916 edition moves the Enchiridion to the end (Appendix B in the 1894 edition) after all the Fragments, Stobaeus, etc. The Enchiridion is broken out of the normal numbering sequence and given the page numbers 1*-38* in the second edition (separate numbering in the middle of the book using an asteric); it is on pp. 424-493 in the 1st edition. This segmenting out of the Enchiridion allows the VERBORUM indexes page numbering to be the same as the 1st edition. The INDEX VERBORUM is exactly the same (except for corrections in the first addenda being incorporated into the second edition; the second edition has a much larger addenda of corrections to the VERBORUM; the Verborum corrections listed in the 1st edition are not listed in the Verborum corrections of the second edition).

Oldfather (1928, in the Loeb Classical Library)

"Oldfather, in his two-volume Loeb edition of Epictetus (19254928; Oldfather nr. 1 3), follows Schenkl’s text, although in some places he departs from it. He gives textual notes where he deviates from other editions, namely Schenkl's. Oldfather apologizes for the absence of a critical edition of Enchiridion with reference to the large number of sources (as Schenkl had also done); he continues: "Another [reason] is the very slight probability that any really notable contributions to knowledge might result therefrom. As an intellectual problem the preparation of a new edition of the Encheiridion presents certain interesting features, but as a practical undertaking it is outranked by a good many other possible investigations." (Boter p. 85 quoting Oldfather).

20th Century Scholarship

"Apart from a few published conjectures by Richards and Kronenberg our century has not seen much progress in the field of the textual criticism of Epictetus’ Encheiridion, although Oliver’s notes in his edition of Perotti’s translation contain many valuable observations." (Boter p. 85).

Boter (1999, 2007)

Boter, Gerard, 2007. Epictetus, Encheiridion (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum Et Romanorum Tevbneriana )  Series: Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana (BT) 1302.

Gerhard Boter (The Encheiridion of Epictetus And Its Three Christian Adaptations: Transmission and Critical Editions. Brill: 1999)

Boter's edition is the first new critical edition since Schweighauser. Boter has completed a thorough investigation of the the manuscript tradition. "A real critical edition of the Greek text, however has hitherto never been made.... It is my aim to fill this gap." (Boter p. xv). What has Boter provided?

  1. An apparatus of the relevant MSS for each section
  2. References to the Enchiridion in the indirect tradition (e.g. Simplicius, Stobaeus, etc)
  3. Cross-references to the source passages in the Diatribes and fragments
  4. A complete critical apparatus containing variant readings of the 1st and 2nd families, the indirect tradition and some of the more important variants of the 3rd family
  5. A list of all orthographical variants and scribal self-corrected errors pp. 346-349
  6. Fragments and other variants are listed in their own apparatus pp. 342-345

What's not included?

The page of the Enchiridion Section 1.1 from Boter's book (pp. can be found here. I have included comments in the image to help one understand the format of the work.

Table of Significant Greek Editions (from Boter pp. 441-442 with notes)

Enchiridion Greek Texts
G. Haloander, Nuremberg 1529 {Oldfather nr. 249}
[A. Cratander], Basel 1531 {Oldfather nr. 250}
V. Trincavelli, Venice 1535 {Oldfather nr. 29}
[C. Neobarius], Paris 1540 {Oldfather nr. 284}
H. Verlenius, Louvain 1550 {Oldfather nr. 318}
J. Tusanus, Paris 1552 {Oldfather nr. 316}
*J. Schegk, Basel 1554 {Oldfather nr. 14} Famous editin; Politani's Latin translation
Th. Naogeorgus, Strassburg 1554 {Oldfather nr. 283} Latin Translation, Explanatory notes
J. Ferandus, Salamanca 1555 {Oldfather nr. 10}
*H. Wolf, Basel 1560 {Oldfather nr. 30} 3 vol; Simplicius Latin translation and Greek Dissertations
[A. Wechelus], Paris 1564  {Oldfather nr. 125}
[Th. Brumennius], Paris 1566 {Oldfather nr. 126}
[Ch. Plantin], Antwerp 1578 {Oldfather nr. 128}
[J. Tornaesius], Lyon 1589 {Oldfather nr. 132}
[E. Vignon], Geneva 1595 {Oldfather nr. 15}
[A Mylius], Cologne 1595 {Oldfather nr. 38-38a}
[Ch. Plantin], “ex officina Plantiniana Raphelengii”, Leiden 1607, 1616 {Oldfather nrs. 136, 141, 142} Reprints, minute size
[J. Maire], Amsterdam-Leiden 1627 {Oldfather nrs. 145-146}
[J. Maire], Leiden 1634 {Oldfather nr. 152}
D/ Heinsius, edition of Simplicius’ commentary, Leiden 1839-1840 {Oldfather nr. 812}
[J. Maire], Leiden 1646 {Oldfather nr. 155}
[G. Morden], Cambridge 1655 {Oldfather nr. 40}
M. Casaubon, London 1659 {Oldfather nr. 241}
[J Flesher], London 1670 (based on the work by M. Meibom; Oldfather nr. 287)
J. Simpson, Oxford 1739 {Oldfather nr. 297}
J. Upton, London 1741 {Oldfather nr. 30}
C.G. Heyne, Dresden-Leipzig 17561, 17762, 17833 {Oldfather nrs. 253-257}
J.B. Lefebvre de Villebrune, Paris 1782, 1783, 1794-5 {Oldfather nrs. 275-278}
J. Schweighauser, Leipzig 1798 {Oldfather nr. 294}
**J. Schweighauser, Epictetae Philosophiae Monumenta III, Leipzig 1799 {Oldfather nr. 26}
A. Koraes, Paris 1826 {Oldfather nr. 12}
Ch. Thurot, Paris 1874-1917 {Oldfather nr. 304-315}
H. Schenkl, Leipzig 1894, 19162 {Oldfather nrs. 22-25}
W.A. Oldfather, London, 1928 (Loeb edition, vol II) (Oldfather nr. 13)
P. Smets, Mainz 1938 {Oldfather nr. 301a}
E.V. Maltese, Epitteto, Manuale, con la versione latina di Angelo Poliziano e il volgarizzamento di Giacomo Leopardi, Milan 1990
Boter 1999 The Enchiridion and its three Christian Adaptations, Brill.

Nilus’ Adaptation
J.M. Suarez, Rome 1673 {Oldfather nr. 324}
J. Schweighauser, Epictetae Philosophiae Monumenta, V, Leipzig 1800, 95-138 {Oldfather nr. 26}

Paraphrasis christiana
M. Casaubon, London 1659 {Oldfather nr. 323}
A. Berkel, Leiden/Amsterdam 1670, Delft 1683, Leiden 1711 {Oldfather nrs. 232-234}
N. Blancard, Amsterdam 1683 {Oldfather nr. 235}
J.C. Schroder, Delft 1723 {Oldfather nr. 291}
J. Schweighauser, Epicteteae Philosophiae Monumenta V, Leipzig 1800, 3-94 {Oldfather nr. 26}
Boter 1999 The Enchiridion and its three Christian Adaptations, Brill.